Friday, November 28, 2008


Abigail, 9th grade, and Deborah, 7th grade, just finished their first volleyball season.  A few years ago most of the district had six man mixed (boys & girls) volleyball teams. With so many people from the Bush heading to Anchorage, the villages are getting smaller and now most of the teams in the district are three man mixed teams.  It works out great for us as homeschoolers.  Since the three man teams are not state sanctioned we can play with the highschool team.  It worked out well for the school too since they needed a girl :) Deborah was the Jr High team.  Since they have to fly to all their away games, the district wouldn't pay for the Jr. Highers to travel but they got to play at the home games.  
Their first game was at Port Alsworth.  It is the closest village to Nondalton up the lake and we lived there for six months before we moved to Nondalton.  Since we've still got so many good friends who live there, Paul flew up with the older kids for the games.  They got to stay with the Fowlers and their eight kids.  Great fun!  Since Deborah was there anyway they played a Jr. High game.
Here's the team at Port Alsworth:  left to right - Nicole Rogenes - coach, Marvin Balluta, Richard Weedman, Deborah Brendemuhl, Beretta Trefon, and Abigail Brendemuhl.

Deborah   #34

Abigail   #3

Abigail bumping

Deborah digging the ball opposite our friend Rachel Walsh from Port Alsworth.  (The one with the black eye on the Family Conference post.)

Deborah with a nice set.

Abigail and Deborah playing in the backcourt together at Port Alsworth.
We had one home match this year.  Kokonok and Levelock came and played Friday night and Saturday morning.  The whole district got together at Newhalen and had a volleyball clinic/leadership conference.  Their only other match was the district tournament at Chignik Lake halfway down the Aleutian Chain.  Paul managed to be the pilot or extra chaperone and go with Abigail to all the games.

Deborah bumping with Abigail looking on.  That's Richard the mighty moose hunter with the pony tail on the top of his head.

Abigail bumping.

Monday, November 24, 2008

15th Anniversary

Paul and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary on November 6th.  The kids decorated our overflow apartment.  When we don't need it for guests, I teach Adult Basic Education in it.  The kids made it look really nice and then they cooked us an awesome steak dinner.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sukkot Dancing

The Martin's, who house sat for us while we were in Anchorage having Sarah, are living here in Nondalton in one of our apartments.  They are living in the apartment next to Lavonne and Josh. They have been great neighbors to Lavonne and Josh who are adjusting to living in their own apartment and it's a blessing having David (their 17 year old son) play the guitar at our home church fellowship.  
For the second year, the Martin's helped sponsor a Feast of Tabernacles celebration at the Palmer Depot, a renovated train depot about an hour north of Anchorage.  They recruited Abigail, Deborah, Anna and Lavonne to dance with them and then Paul gave a short message.

Here they all are practising in our kitchen.

It took some trial and error to see whose hips were the narrowest to fit three across in the C172 for the trip to Anchorage. Paul and Josh A. ended up sitting up front.

Anna is tucked in the back with the bags in the kiddie seat.

They practised in a garage on Friday night before the celebration on Sunday night.This is a link to the Martin's web site where you can see video clips of the celebration and Paul preaching:
You can also link to it and sample some of David's music at his website

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Design by Abigail

I'm not sure that it was a good thing that I started writing to "supplement" Abigail's blog, because now she has stopped writing altogether....  She loves to sit around and play with the design however....   She actually designed a whole website that we never published.  If you look at the bottom of each post it tells who wrote that post.  Here she is with two laptops, ours and the one Grandma & Grandpa Rogers' gave to us when they got a new one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Paul & Susan - Sukkot

Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is one of the festivals (the Hebrew word used literally means "appointed time") that God calls His appointed times and He calls His people to celebrate.  Leviticus 23:33-43 describes how God commanded all native Israelites (vs. 42) to celebrate this feast.  The first and eighth days are days of rest.  For seven days they are to dwell in booths (temporary shelters made of boughs, in Hebrew Sukkot is plural and sukkah is singular). Verse 43 says,"that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt:  I am Yahweh, your God.'"  Deut. 16:18 tells us that Sukkot is one of the three times a year all males are to appear before God in the place He chooses.  In Zechariah 14 God talks about His return and the setting up of His Kingdom, in vs. 16-19 He describes how all the nations will celebrate Sukkot and if they don't they will have no rain.  We have decided that even though we are not natives of Israel and He has not yet set up His kingdom we want to celebrate Sukkot because it is one of God's appointed times and to remind ourselves and our children about how God provides for us during our temporary dwellings, whether it is during Israel's travels when God brought them out of Egypt or as we live in our temporary bodies now.

We also believe that God's feasts or "appointed times" point to events that have taken place and are yet to take place.  The first four feasts:  passover, unleavened bread, first fruits, and Pentecost have been fulfilled by Christ's death and resurrection and by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  The last three feasts have yet to be fulfilled: We believe the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) will be the taking up or rapture of Christ's bride, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) will be our judgement day when God returns to execute judgement on the earth, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) when we enter into the millennial kingdom.  God says in Jeremiah 23:7-8 that we will no longer remember when He brought His people out of Egypt, "but As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.'  And they shall dwell in their own land.".

Although we had planned on celebrating Sukkot for some time, when the day actually came Paul had been flying a lot and was very tired and did not feel like building anything.  So, the kids and I started hauling poles into the basement and started figuring out the best way to put up our Sukkah while Paul took a nap.  (We decided a good Alaska adaptation to Sukkot would be to build your Sukkah in your basement since it's so cold out!)

Paul could hear us down below and as tired as he was he couldn't help himself.... He knew (and he was right) that with his help it would be a much nicer, much sturdier, much safer structure...  So he came down to help.

It wasn't long before he was the life of the party and everyone was having a great time Sukkah wrestling.

God commands His people to live in their temporary dwellings for 7 days.  We figured that meant to sleep in them.  As we studied about Sukkot during the week, we learned that the way most people celebrate Sukkot today is to eat their meals in their Sukkah.  We slept in ours all week and it was so much fun we are looking forward to doing it again next year.
Below Paul is reading our nightly Bible reading in our Sukkah.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MFR & Family Conference

We spent close to a week in Port Alsworth, AK this October.  Port Alsworth is the closest village to us up the lake, about 20 miles away.  They have a Bible camp there and every fall they host a Missionary Family Retreat (MFR) followed by a family conference.  We love going and staying up late every night renewing old friendships and making new ones with other believers around the area.  

We got a family picture with Sarah in it on the back porch of the church.

The kids  got a little wild.  Rachel Walsh a good friend of Abigail and Deborah's  bumped heads with another girl and got a nice black eye.

Danny Oertli led worship at MFR and here he and Mark McGee are playing at the campfire on the beach by the lake.

The church at Port Alsworth sang a song for us about reaching the nations.  They dressed up in costumes from all over the world.

The ladies had a tea at one of the lodges.  David and Benjamin got to go with me and Sarah.  The boys loved all of the stuffed animals in the lodge.   This was as close as Benjamin would get to this stuffed wolf.

A friend from Lime Village was at family camp with his grandkids.  They wanted to get baptized, so on the last day of the family conference we all went down to the lake.  It started to snow as they were getting baptized and that water was cold!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grinding Moose

Paul didn't get a chance to hunt this season, but God always provides.  
Richard and his Dad got another moose and gave us a leg from that also.
Thanks Richard!

Everyone has great fun helping to butcher the moose.